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Exploring life in the LCOL area: pros, cost of living, and more!

Wondering if moving to the LCOL area is right for you? Get all the info you need here! Keep reading to learn more!

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Everything you need to know about living in the LCOL area

Street view on a  row of a modern residential house complex
Exploring life in the LCOL area. Source: Freepik

Are you considering relocating to a region with a more affordable cost of living? The LCOL area might be just what you’re looking for.

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But before making your move, it pays to know all the details. In this blog post, we look in-depth at life in the LCOL area. Read on!

What is LCOL, and what does it stand for?

LCOL areas, or “low cost of living” areas, tend to have lower prices for commodities such as food, gas, and utilities than states with a higher cost-of-living index figure.

Furthermore, LCOL states may be the ideal choice from Mississippi to Alabama for many individuals with a tight budget.

Not only can LCOL areas provide monetary savings, but they may also offer more job prospects due to being off the career radar of bigger cities.

Moreover, LCOL areas offer job seekers more space for career growth and an environment free of competition while allowing their dollars to stretch further in these areas.

Ultimately, LCOL areas provide monetary benefits, quieter lifestyles, and prospective job growth opportunities.

What is the difference between HCOL and LCOL areas?

Cropped View of Hands Typing on Laptop
What is the difference between HCOL and LCOL areas? Source: Freepik

LCOLs are regions with a lower cost of living than more traditional areas. On the other hand, HCOL, or High Cost of Living areas, have high prices.

In this sense, LCOL areas are typically found in rural parts of the country and offer everything from affordable housing to low taxes.

However, HCOL areas are located in more urban locations and tend to be far more expensive living options.

Moreover, LCOL areas may provide opportunities for investment, which can lead to greater returns for the same amount compared to HCOL areas.

Although LCOLs come with some tradeoffs, such as fewer job opportunities or a slower pace of life than some cities, they have much more appealing living conditions.

Pros and cons of moving to an LCOL area

Moving to an LCOL area can have both advantages and challenges. It offers a great opportunity to save money since the cost of living is generally lower.

Plus, the LCOL income might be sufficient for most people’s basic needs. Things are cheaper, and entertainment options are simpler and more affordable.

On the other hand, LCOL areas often have fewer amenities with more limited job choices, which could adversely impact career growth.

Moreover, it can get boring and lonely in LCOL areas if you thrive on activity, culture, and people.

Therefore, whether LCOL is right depends on your financial situation and personal preferences. Check out more about the pros and cons of the LCOL area.

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Benefits

Instead of struggling to make ends meet in an expensive High Cost Of Living (HCOL) area, we can opt for the benefits an LCOL area can provide.

With time freedom, we can have more leisure time to invest in activities that improve our mental health.

Instead of working long hours in an HCOL area, we might be able to opt for Geoarbitrage.

By doing this, we can take advantage of the higher wages. But live life slower in a less expensive area, exercise more often or become involved in hobbies.

Geoarbitrage is just one of the benefits that living in an LCOL area can provide.

Drawbacks

Living in a Low Cost of Living (LCOL) area has drawbacks. It can be difficult to build financial independence due to the generally lower wage growth occurring in LCOL areas.

This low wage growth, coupled with only so much one can cut expenses, makes it harder to increase savings rates and thus take longer to achieve financial independence.

Moreover, employment prospects in these areas also tend to be more fragile and suffer greatly from minor economic disruptions because of the fewer jobs available.

Thus if you are looking for guaranteed wage growth and a more stable job market, an HCOL area may be worth considering.

The cost of living in an LCOL area

Model house on stack of coins money and alarm clock on natural g
The cost of living in an LCOL area. Source: Freepik

LCOL areas often offer less expensive housing options and food than more expensive urban markets, allowing people to save significant amounts of money.

Moreover, LCOL areas typically have lower taxes than higher-cost areas, making them even more attractive for those looking to stretch their dollars further.

The final cost, with expenses for living and entertainment, varies according to the chosen area.

For example, to live in Huntsville, Alabama, you must be 13% less than someone in Atlanta.

Also, another interesting example is that you would need to earn around $10,000 more annually than you do in Atlanta to live in Denver.

Remote work and LCOL area can be the solution

Remote work has revolutionized the way people earn money. After all, he changed the game for those looking to live comfortably in a lower-cost-of-living area.

Thanks to the internet, making a full-time remote income online and living in an LCOL area is easier.

Freelancers, remote employees, and entrepreneurs alike can embrace the increased productivity of cutting out the commute.

Moreover, also benefit from saving more of their hard-earned money without sacrificing comfort or quality of life.

Bottom line

Whether your goal is financial freedom, passive income, or a higher overall salary, remote work opens up many possibilities that were never available before.

But, if you still prefer to live in HCOL areas, know that it has many interesting benefits. Check out this article we separate with all the tips.

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HCOL area: what is the meaning for your finances?

In this article you will learn about how the cost of living in your area affects your financial life. Read on to learn more!

About the author  /  Sabrina Paes

Content Writer, Copywriter, and Ghostwriter. Content marketing professional with 5 years of experience. Specialist in investment, finance, and technology niche. MBA in Marketing at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. Content Writer by Rock Content, and University of California (UCDAVIS).

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